Men’s Rights, A Statement from the Queen

(In which she attempts a sophisticated form of humor that usually gets her pilloried, and yet here she is.)

Men of our modern Western world! We have heard your pleas. We must confess that, being ourselves female, we have always naturally held the theory that men are the inferior sex. So much of nature and culture appear to justify this common belief: why else would men so often resort to violence if not for lack of the sophistication of wit that can create peaceful solutions? Why insist on being coddled in every form of social contact if not because they themselves understand, in some simple way, that they are not emotionally mature and stable beings? Man is made for manual labor and woman for rule, it is everywhere apparent. On the whole men themselves have seemed content with this arrangement; and women, although some as individuals have suffered the effects of men’s brutish leanings while others, finding themselves without even the poorest dullard to train to use, have been forced into the world of labor themselves – even so, women have lived and prospered.

And yet there are these murmurs of discontent, and we must assure our beloved charges that Mother, as it were, has indeed heard them. Our sons are no longer content in their natural spaces of boardroom and battlefield; they claim they are ready to take up the mantles of natural right and responsibility that heretofore have belonged to womankind alone. We have decided it is time to make the experiment: therefore we put forward these simple first steps toward man’s goal, so that he may try on the skirts he has requested and see if he can keep their hems off the ground.

In times previous, we have assigned to women the adult responsibility of governing sex and reproduction, minding her manners carefully in public and keeping her privates, private. We have forgiven the errors of men in these regards as the clompings of an animal incapable of governing his own members. But today, O Man, we announce to you that we accept your assertion that you are beings equal to ourselves, and thus capable of minding your sexual affairs responsibly. Your actions toward women who have rejected you (and toward men less muscular, less masculine or heteronormative and thus closer to the elevated state of the female, et cetera) will be yours to answer for rather than theirs, and children fruited from your seed will be yours equally to care for, both financially and in physical and emotional presence. (Naturally, should your failure be such that your child is itself the product of savagery on your part, your part will be only financial, as you will be in prison and deemed an unfit companion for children, just as you were previously unfit before your declaration as an equal.)

Likewise you are now to be held equal in all social contexts. It may shock you to learn of it, dear gentlemen, but historically women have endured many errors on your part, knowing that your constitutions were too fragile to bear correction of the kind we give each other. In fact a great many women have smiled politely at you, all unknowing in your naivete, as you caused what would otherwise be considered great offense. In this way we have coddled your fancy – perhaps, we see now, at a cost to your development – that life was a Disney movie, in which any man could, at any moment, stumble into a great princess, win her affections with no more than a smile and a few clumsy words and a stolen kiss, and ride off happy with her forever. Alas, in truth, few men excel at turning their haplessness into charm, and for them to gain a kiss from any woman at all is a wonder. As equals, however, you deserve to learn the truth of your predicament, so that you may train yourselves to better communication skills and take equal part in civilized society.

This is not to say that you are without any contributions to civilization in our past! Oh, it is true that we have often relegated you to your natural position as the violent catalysts of history. You yourselves have often dismissed your own contributions in other areas, awarding the arts and sciences such words as “queer,” which as we have said elevate men to nearer the womanly position. But perhaps you do so at your own expense, failing to comprehend that mere men could have created beauty of any kind. We therefore declare August to be White Men Who Did Not Kill, Rape, or Enslave Anyone We Know About Month, so as to encourage you to embrace this aspect of your collective heritage. Their little-known examples may inspire you to enter into the true world of culture and sophistication, where men are currently so underrepresented.

We feel that this is enough to begin with. Society cannot be torn to the ground and rebuilt in a day, nor should it be. Be of good cheer, dear brave men, and do not drum yourselves up into frenzy over the hard work of taking on the duties of true citizens; there will be the rewards of free emotional expression, healthy bonding, and glorious fashion soon enough.

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